5-a-Side Positions | Complete Guide
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5-A-Side Positions | All You Need To Know

5-a-side football comes under the category of Futsal. It is an individual sport which is played at a professional level as well as on the streets. 5-a-side football generally means that two teams consisting of 5 players each play against each other. Learning the 5-A-side positions will be instrumental if you want to ace this format!

We will go over 4 key areas of positions in a step by step manner. On the way, there will be explanations about the roles and duties of each position on a 5-a-side team. Not only that, we will touching some relevant questions about the topic. Keep reading!

how 5-a-side improves your technique?

This format of football is highly regarded to improve the technical ability of players. This type of format is also what many young players go through before they step on to bigger games such as 11-sided football.

Many professionals also regard small-sided games to improve their technique. Furthermore, playing futsal or small-sided games is essential if you want to become a professional player in the future. In this article we are going to talk about 5-a-side positions and their major roles.

5-a-Side Positions 

5 sided games and 11-sided games are similar in terms of having the same positions. However, the difference is that 11-sided games are played on a comparatively bigger surface allowing more players to play for both sides. Other than that, there is a striker, midfielders, defenders, and goalkeeper in both types of formats.

Every position is specifically explained in this article in order to give you the best idea of how every player plays the game. It is true that every position has its own criteria. However, football is a team sport and it takes an entire team effort to win.  

The Goalkeeper 

We are going to start from the back and move to the front. Goalkeeper is the first position in our list of 5-a-side positions. The role of a goalkeeper is pretty obvious. He has to stand in between the poles and have to prevent the opposing players from scoring a goal. Simple, right?

is it easy to be keeper in 5-a-side?

However, the job of a keeper is not as simple as it may sound. Keepers are indeed, as important as midfielders or strikers. It is very necessary for a keeper to perform well if his team wants to win the game.   

There are some debates when you talk about goalkeeping being a difficult position in 5-a-side though. The size of the poles or the goal size is not very big, and it is easier to cover the entire area easily. This is why we do not see many long-range goals in 5-a-side football.

5 sided games are very technical and it requires tactical gameplay, precise passing, and pinpoint accurate finish in order to score a goal. Therefore, we can say that goalkeepers do have a slight advantage in terms of preventing goals.

easy to get embarassed as well:

However, there is a downside to it as well. Since it is very difficult to score goals in this format, conceding goals can welcome a lot of criticism. This criticism can be from fellow teammates, coaches or even the opposition players who mock you at times. We usually see goals in between the legs aka nutmeg goals, or very precise finishes in this format of the game.

the error margin:

However, the keeper is expected to save almost every shot from the opposition since the size of the goal is very small. This is not always possible, right? We are humans and we can make mistakes.  

It is never possible to play football without committing mistakes. Even the greatest, Johan Cruyff once said that football is a game of mistakes. Therefore, you can never expect your keeper to be at his best all the time. Goalkeeping is without a doubt, the most delicate of the 5-a-side positions, and it takes a lot of guts to stand in front of the goal. Therefore, all the keepers deserve respect.  

The Defender  

Defense is another very crucial role in 5-a-side positions. The positions in 5-sided games do not differ too much from 11-sided football. The main difference is in how actively every player participates in the game and the tactical responsibility of every player.

the stopper:

1 or 2 players play as defenders in this format of the game. However, one out of those 2 players usually stays at the back all the time and avoids going too much forward. The name explains their role in the game.  The stopper or last man stays at the back all the time to cover up mistakes from the midfielders.

If all players move up at the same time, and lose the ball, it could lead to a very quick counter from the opposition.

This is why stoppers are very crucial in this game. They act as added support for the midfielders as well as the goalkeeper. A strong last man is always desired by any futsal team and they are usually one of the most senior players of the team as well. They usually avoid excessive and unnecessary dribbling. 

the leading role:

Stoppers are also very good communicators. They have to act like leaders simply because it is one of the requirements of their position. They are very verbal and usually guide the team from the back. Defenders are there to alert their forward players about any man behind them.

They also have a wide view of the pitch. Therefore, they usually guide their players about who they should pass the ball to. This avoids mistakes from the midfielders or the strikers. Stoppers are also strong and another demand of their position is to be able to muscle away the opposing attackers. 

5-a-side vs 11-a-side

The Midfielder 

The midfielder is the most pivotal of 5-a-side positions. Midfielders are basically the engines of the team. They run the entire team and are usually the best players on the team. It is necessary for them to be on their toes all the time and remain active for the entire game.

responsibilities of midfielders in 5-a-side:

This 5-a-side position demands its players to read the game fast and act accordingly on all moments. They have to be good passers of the ball, but should also possess goal scoring qualities. A good midfielder must have good fitness backed up with good ability with the ball. 

It is a usual concept that midfielders do not stop for the entire game. This is basically a phrase used to justify that midfielders must always run around the park and always involve them in the play. This also means that they must own incredible stamina and agility. Midfielders setup their strikers with good and accurate passes or through balls.

They also have to perform defensive duties as well by dropping down regularly to win the ball. It is not easy to play as a midfielder, but is also the most fun 5-a-side position in my opinion.  

The Attacker

Strikers are also known as Forwards or Top Mans and this is the last of the 5-a-side positions on this list. They are the ones who usually lead the attack. They are expected to be the leading goal scorers of the team simply because this is a demand of their position.

However, their role in the team is way more than just finishing the ball at the back of the net. There are 3 more on-field players except for the strikers during a 5 sided game. Therefore, it is a must for them to participate often. 

more than just goalscorers:

They link up plays with the midfielders. Meanwhile, they also have the freedom to shoot or try to score from anywhere. However, clever strikers are always aware of when a shot at a goal is better than just a simple pass to another team-mate. Players playing at a high level are keen to keep the ball under their team’s possession at all times.

Therefore, it is necessary for them to be able to read the game very well. Strikers must be good on the ball both with their feet and also their strength. They must have a good pace to outrun opposing defenders.  

5-a-side positions vs 11-a-side positions:

We have gone over all the positions in 5-a-side in a rather quick manner. There’s a very logical question that needs to be adressed here; how 5-a-side positions are different than the 11-a-side positions?

Since 5-a-side is also an application of football, the essence of understanding of each positions is exactly the same as the standard edition of the game. For instance, the defenders have to defend in both formats, and same goes for the rest positions too.

The difference lies in implementation and extension of the duties of these positions. You will find countless variations, roles, responsibilities and duties of each position in 5-a-side. And there are different players assigned to each application of the same position. For example, there are multiple types of midfielders in 11-a-side, and all midfielders can’t play all types.

While in futsal, or 5-a-side, the versatility is adapted due to the lack of players on the pitch. The players should be all-rounders and cover more than what they are responsible of.


These are the most common 5-a-side positions usually seen on the pitch. The positions always remain the same. However, the formations determine how these players assemble. Players at every position are usually very active in 5-a-side games because the pitches are small and it is necessary to play fast.  

Every position has its own importance in the game and the players must have specific qualities to be able to fulfill their duties. Every player works hard for this and spends a lot of time understanding position-specific roles. 

Talking about 5-a-side positions was fun, we hope you adressed all the questions on your mind. You can always head over to our soccer section and keep on reading!

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